MARTINEZ -- The former Lesher Center for the Arts employee at the center of a Contra Costa theater community and Walnut Creek City Hall scandal was sentenced Friday to 90 days in jail.
Jason Pedroza, 27, took a plea deal in August, pleading guilty to a felony count of using minors to engage in child pornography and misdemeanor child molestation. The former actor and theater teacher may have to only serve home detention if the county jail approves his request, said deputy district attorney Chad Mahalich. He will have to register as a sex offender for life.
Pedroza still may face charges from a San Mateo County case involving a minor that resulted from a Walnut Creek police supplemental investigation.
Pedroza's case sparked an internal child abuse reporting investigation within Walnut Creek's administration. The investigation examined whether city employees followed state law by reporting child abuse suspicions involving Pedroza to authorities after firing him from the Lesher Center for inappropriate contact with teenage girls. Four workers were placed on leave but returned to work after the report found they acted appropriately overall.
The investigation also revealed the city manager knew as much as the employees on leave and resulted in the resignation of the city attorney, who complained that he was pressured by council members to derail the investigation, something they denied. The human resources director has since retired as well.
Two accusers spoke at Pedroza's August hearing, sharing with the courtroom how Pedroza's actions have permanently affected them and caused them to be shunned by the theater community.
Pedroza did not address the judge at Friday's sentencing.
Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026. Follow him at Twitter.com/mgafni.